BREAKING NEWS – Powerful earthquake off Turkish coast triggers a Mediterranean tsunami

The earthquake caused several buildings to crumble (pictured) on the party island of Kos. Photo: DAILYMAIL

A powerful earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.7 has struck off the Turkish coast, triggering a tsunami in the Mediterranean.

Beachfront hotels full of British holidaymakers were flooded in the coastal city of Marmaris, Turkey, while the effects were also felt on islands such as Crete and Rhodes.

Eyewitnesses posted videos of hospital staff and patients cowering for cover, while tourists were forced to flee their rooms and gather anxiously in the street.

The earthquake caused cracks in one hotel on the party island of Kos, with tourists facing a night sleeping on the beach after they were evacuated from the building.

Local authorities ordered holidaymakers not to enter hotels due to likely aftershocks, with more than five quakes hitting the area around Turkey in just two hours.

The tremor struck at 1.31 am local time (10.31pm GMT) approximately 6.4 miles south of Bodrum, Turkey and 10 miles east of Kos, Greece.

Brit tourist John O’Brennan wrote on Twitter: ‘Just experienced 30 second earthquake in Rhodes.

‘I hope there are no injuries. Building shook furiously. But all OK.’

Tom Riesack added: ‘Wow – terrifying to wake up to massively shaking room at 6.7 earthquake on Kos – thank God no one hurt, just shaken.’

The UK Foreign Office released a statement warning about the possibility of aftershocks and calling on Brits to follow the advice of local authorities.

According to Turkey’s disaster and emergency management service, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 occurred and was felt in Mugla and its surrounding areas.

Esengul Civelek, the governor of Mugla, said initial reports showed there were no fatalities, with a small number of people suffering minor injuries.

Mugla Mayor Osman Gurun said power outages affected certain parts of the province and that telephone operators experienced shortages due to overloads.

Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon said the earthquake had caused minor cracks on some old buildings.

Turkish broadcaster NTV reported that aftershocks were being felt in the region, with a 4.6 magnitude aftershock hitting at 1.52 am (22.52pm GMT).

The European quake agency EMSC said a small tsunami could be caused by the quake, but Turkish broadcasters cited officials saying large waves were more likely.

Others told how sea levels dipped by about a foot before the tsunami struck, followed by mass floods shortly after.

The earthquake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.9, was very shallow, only 6.2 miles below the seabed, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

A magnitude 6.7 quake is considered strong and is capable of causing considerable damage, but today’s tsunami would have been dampened by seas.

The area surrounding Turkey is prone to earthquakes because it is located between the Arabian plate and Eurasian plate.